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Soundie - Lullaby of Broadway


Topics soundie


The Mel-Tones


Run time 2:41
Audio/Visual sound, b&w

Reviews

Reviewer: wrfreytag - - June 26, 2008
Subject: Mel-Tones?
I see and hear plenty of tones in this video, but Mel is nowhere to me found..... What gives?
Reviewer: diegoguy - - October 28, 2007
Subject: One of the best of the 1940's singing groups
A correction: The group backing the Mel-tones was a quintet comprised of some of the best jazz musicians of the period, including Dave Barbour on guitar and Buddy Cole at the Piano.
Reviewer: group singer - - April 29, 2006
Subject: Great!
This style of singing is not easy. You must have good "ears", sing in tune with a straight tone,and add some personality for good measure. The Mel-Tones had it all, (most of the time). I got a kick out of tenor Bernie Parke lip syncing to Torme's voice. Don't know why Mel wasn't there. Probably some previous contractual obligation. Ginny O'Connor (singing 2nd) later married Hank Mancini and is currently president of the Henry Mancini Institute. Diz is still around but I don't know what happened to Beverly (Betty?) Beveridge. It appears she was in and out of the "Biz" very quickly.
For those of us who spent some time "group singing",this Soundie is historic. A real find.
Reviewer: Sha-na-na - - April 3, 2006
Subject: Who were the Mel-Tones?
The union of Torme and the Mel-Tones was created from fortuitous circumstances. Drummer/band leader Ben Pollack, who was the Chico Marx band organizer/manager at the time, must be credited as the matchmaker. He brought Torme together with these five Los Angeles City College students, who had billed themselves as "The School Kids," singing informally in and around the campus environs. Their respective needs meshed as the group's bass singer and vocal arranger Tom Kenny was headed for a US Army uniform. Torme arrived on the scene as if on cue, and the first edition of the group was launched with Bernie Parke, Diz Disruhd, Betty Beveridge, and Ginny O'Connor, plus Torme who doubled as arranger. Later Disruhd became another wartime draftee and was replaced by Les Baxter (whose reputation in future years as a composer/ arranger elevated him to the heavy talent ranks in the industry).

They assumed a fresh name, "The Skylarks," which failed to achieve more than a modicum of success. They then tried the label "The Mel-Tones," which caught on as the key name for them and indeed, they flourished as the hippest modern-sounding vocal group-appearing in several motion pictures and numerous sustaining radio shows. They ultimately expanded their name to Mel Torme and the Mel-Tones in recognition of Torme's dual role as the arranger and solo vocalist. As fate would often dictate, just when things were cooking and popping, Torme also inevitable answered the call to the Armed Services in 1945, and the group broke up.
Reviewer: ERD - - March 19, 2006
Subject: Musically good, Visually poor
Nice relaxing vocal version of "Lullaby of Broadway. The staging of this film, however is terrible.
Reviewer: Spuzz - - June 14, 2005
Subject: Odd. Yes.
Very strange and odd soundie here. I have no idea of who the mel-tones are but they are a curious looking set of folk, the lead singer is too laughably fey, and the male in the middle looks like he wants to shoot someone. The rest of the singers are ok, but the odd beginning shot with the guy looking over his backside is very odd and the song itself is um, odd.
Reviewer: martijn.konijn - - August 15, 2004
Subject: Brilliant stuff
The Mel-Tones were Mel Torme and some college students (formerly known as "the School Kids"). Now their vocals are ok, but that orchestra sounds brilliant. This very well might be Count Basie and his Band.
Reviewer: Wilford B. Wolf - - July 30, 2004
Subject: For whiter whites use...
Late 1940s soundie featuring the vocal group The Mel-Tones, consisting of three males and two females. This soundie proves that bad lip synching to songs did not start with MTV.

Pretty good, if rather straight, rendition of the classic song. However, it does beg the question-- why is it being sung in a faux college dorm room?
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